Lotus or Flatus?

Has season 12 lived up to anyone’s expectations yet? The mid season finale comes only 8 episodes in, which is shorter than usual. So maybe the lead up is slow as I hold back a full rant on Andrew Dabb’s pacing and direction or lack thereof as the new show runner. Of course after Chuck where does one go unless the stories are more introspective and center around a smaller set of facts. Many pieces have been introduced: Mary Winchester, Lucifer’s spawn, BMoL, and the Cas and Crowley duo. The first few episodes center on the hunters’ world and then an aimless and angry Lucifer who seeks adulation through a rock star persona.

In the mid season finale, Lucifer possesses the President of the United States-LOTUS. It is easy to put aside political leanings for this episode as the character is never seen in the White House but rather in a retreat.(The episode was penned prior to the election results in the States, so the sarcasm may be imposed by current events). He is a religious widower, who is duped by Lucifer. Lucifer as the Prez does have a few zingers and it is the archangel’s first sexual experience which results in the latest  yet to be born nephilim. He experiences creation-good line! Sam and Dean continue to chase Lucifer with Cas, Crowley and Rowena in tow. Mr. Ketch, from the BMOL uses a grenade launcher to save the Winchesters from government agents and Cas gets to clean agents’ memories. Then Mr. Ketch brings along a convenient but very pretty artifact in the shape of an egg and a special exorcism for archangels. Sam’s hatred of Lucifer is in full mode as he exercises the exorcism which sends Lucifer out and down a heat ventilator in brilliant white smoke. Lucy telling Sam in the episode that it is not over. As the President survives without any recall of events, Sam and Dean are hauled off in heavy chains to a black ops location while Cas is duped by the expectant mother of the nephilim through a back door at a cafe and Crowley takes Rowena in a teleport puff as soon as Lucifer is extracted.  Enjoyed the episode but it was a bit flat for a mid season finale and perhaps that is intentional or Dabb is full of air and is floating along, searching for a goal. With the earlier time slot here in the States, when the series resumes, is the Winchester saga being watered down for a younger audience? Where is Supernatural headed?

There are the set ups for the second half of season 12. One hopes that these threads continue and that Mary has a significant role t2nd halfo play to save the Winchesters. She is out there learning about the world as her sons pursue Lucifer. Surely, Dabb intends to use her to save her children during the second half. Do I hear a major sacrifice coming to break hearts by the end of the season? Not sure how to process Mr. Ketch at this point as his original mission was to take out the Winchesters and now he saves them? Will the nephilim come to life or tucked away for future use?  Does Dabb have a vision that is so slow to roll out or is it a meander through Supernatural references from past seasons?

Noteworthy:

  • Dean’s expression when Mr. Ketch gets to use a grenade launcher
  • Mr. Ketch’s entrance music.
  • Cas gets to wipe clean agents’ memories
  • Cas doesn’t flinch when the grenade launcher goes off-he just waits there
  • Baby protects Sam and Dean from the fire of the grenade launcher
  • Sam’s emotion when he exorcises Lucifer with the “egg”
  • Crowley disposing of Rowena’s two timing lover-“That’s the nicest thing (he) done for me(Rowena). There is a mother/son bond-watch for a parallel with Mary 2nd half
  • Sam and Dean save the PROTUS as unsung heroes.
  • Sam and Dean in heavy chains being taken away to a black ops interrogation site-the expression on their faces as they attempt to non verbally communicate- Reminds me a bit of early episodes when they were apprehended.\ by agent H.Good camera shots.
  • The President acted for noble reasons not for self serving purposes
  • Split conversation btwn President and Lucifer(not as well done as the Sam/Lucy one as it is not the focal point of the episode). Nice flashback in my brain.

Questions that leave one queasy:

  • What powers does Cas have? He can clean minds but is duped by the pregnant presidential aide the same way Claire dumped him in prior season. Is Cas naive or a really slow learner?
  • Where is the BMOL story going? Villain or savior? How should one feel?
  • If Lucifer has been put back in the cage, it seems a bit too easy and makes that story line weak . Special effects were not that special.
  • How do Sam and Dean not escape in time from the secret service? Where did Ketch go? Crowley and Rowena transport at the first opportunity- so close now?
  • Why is the secret service agent giving Sam the evil eye with a camera close up?
  • Lucifer is still a bratty, self centered, egotistical  angry archangel / Dabb let the abandonment issue surface again. Anyone else feeling abandoned in season 12?

The writing team for this episode is usually one of the weaker teams of writers. Surprised Dabb would entrust them with such a loaded egg, but I will be patient and see what he pulls together for the second half and hope the meandering turns into a purposeful goal for the Winchesters. There are fruitful seeds planted, let’s see what Dabb produces before  it turns into season 7- some good stand alone episodes with an overarching villain that for me lacked something . There is more story left:hoping Dabb doesn’t turn it into flatus for a younger audience.

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16 thoughts on “Lotus or Flatus?

  1. Definitely agree with the term “Flatus” lol (smart ;D)
    The first half of the season in general wasn’t very good but the midseason finale was terrible especially in the writing for the Winchesters. I’m not sure what Dabb has planned for the rest of the season but right now, he’s constantly reminding me he’s the one who wrote the much panned “Bloodlines”.

    “Anyone else feeling abandoned in season 12?”

    I do and I saw it coming. The decline started with “Alpha & Omega” and the show hasn’t really picked up since. Based on spoilers it was evident Dabb had little interest in the Winchesters for the first part of the first part of the season. The only silver lining is that Dabb is aware of negative comments and he addressed them indirectly in one of his last interviews with TV Line.

    He also said he knew fans weren’t very fond of “Alpha & Omega” so, I’m not sure it’ll change anything but here’s to hoping. Ratings going down should serve as some sort of an incentive to course correct. The premiere is always higher but based on the natural evolution of the show season to season, the midseason finale should have pulled a 0.7. We went from beating Arrow and Legends to 0.6. The show’s still doing VERY well for the CW especially at 12 years old so no fears for season 13 but the ratings are slightly lower than they should be at the 8th/midseason finale episode 🙂

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    1. I am just wondering if Dabb is being told to write Sam and Dean Lite—but the midseason finale should be an episode where they are the stars.

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      1. Dabb’s the showrunner. Any decision to write a Sam and Dean Lite season 12A rests on his shoulders. He had nothing to say about them in spoilers since the Summer and now he’s going on and on about the 3 Cas-centric episodes coming form season 12B. This is his plan for the season.

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        1. “Any decision to write a Sam and Dean Lite season 12A rests on his shoulders. ”

          Not if their contracts ask for x amount of light episodes…Just a thought…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fair enough. I personally believe it’s Dabb’s decision. Jensen is the only one who needed less screen time in the later episodes recently. When Jared was the one who needed less screentime, the show always managed to so a lot with the second co-lead (Jensen/Dean). Dabb tends to put the co-leads on equal footing with other regulars and even one-offs when they’re not the only ones in an episode.

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            1. Usually if one is written lite, the other has a heavier story line. Both J’s probably have stipulations written into their 2 year contracts for screen time/family time. Twins did not stop Jensen from appearing at the last convention, 2 days after their birth and he stayed in Vancouver until the call to come home when D. went into labor a bit early. I would like to believe that they truly care about their work and the show based on what they have said and how “dedicated” to fandom’s involvement with their causes is evident. True that they are rewarded well financially for their talents and appearances, but even if written lite, the writing is off for both Winchesters. Yes, it might prove interesting to see a bit of Castiel’s history if it is written well, but the main story should be the Winchesters. The network has a 2 year contract with the actors, the actors would like to “milk this pig as long as possible,” according to Jared, as long as there are good stories to be told according to Jensen. Both have made family time sacrifices and continue to do so within reason. Suspending shooting is expensive so why not balance out the lite episodes one character at a time rather than lessening the quality? The cynical part of me thinks that the financial commitment to the show from the network increases each year and if the network can move it to an earlier slot, get a younger crowd, dumb down the writing, then the actors will see the quality go down and not want to continue after the contracts run out. Just saying that the quality in scripts, not the acting, has been noticeable. Dabb has written wonderfully in the past, so now why is his direction so blah? He has Robert Singer at his side. Who drives the ship but network executives-notice the jabs at Hollywood types. Just saying. I will continue to watch though I fear we have about a year and a half left on those contracts.

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              1. “Usually if one is written lite, the other has a heavier story line.”

                Exactly!

                “Both J’s probably have stipulations written into their 2 year contracts for screen time/family time.”

                True. They do and they talked about it. That’s why I don’t have a problem with more side characters being added to take some of the load off J2. I celebrate Crowley, Rowena, Billie, Charlie (may she RIP), Chuck and even Matatron who I grew to love, all the time in my reviews. I don’t resent other characters getting screentime.

                The issue is, in season 11, we had plenty of regulars/recurring/side characters but the show still honored its co-leads as the emotional center and the focal point of the story and when they were on screen, you FELT it. That’s what’s missing this year.

                “Twins did not stop Jensen from appearing at the last convention, 2 days after their birth and he stayed in Vancouver until the call to come home when D. went into labor a bit early.”

                That’s a really great point, Deb, thank you. I’m all for Jensen getting the family time he deserves as long as his character is treated well on screen WHEN he is on screen (Jared too, Sam is just as important and technically, the top-billed), but if Jensen had time for conventions, I’m sure Dean also had time to do something constructive in the midseason finale.

                “I would like to believe that they truly care about their work and the show based on what they have said and how “dedicated” to fandom’s involvement with their causes is evident.”

                Call me naive but I believe they do. They go above and beyond to connect with viewers and they’re the first to reassure us that they’re in it for the long haul. If they were tired of it, they would start by diminishing the number of conventions I believe. Creation keeps adding dates to the calendar and the Js keep showing up. Sure, it’s good money, but if they were getting sick of the whole rigamarole, they would start cutting ties by slowing down on all the extracurricular SPN-related stuff and probably have a secret meeting with TPTB to tell them to stop broadcasting the idea that the show will go on forever lol, which puts J2 in a bad spot, IF, they’re getting sick of it all.

                “True that they are rewarded well financially for their talents and appearances, but even if written lite, the writing is off for both Winchesters.”

                And that’s the problem! A lead character can be written lite but still be written with the focus and intensity worthy of his position as a lead. The Winchesters don’t really get that this season. The character who’s been treated with the most amount of respect and emotional investment is Lucifer. I believe I called him the star of the show in a different forum.

                “Yes, it might prove interesting to see a bit of Castiel’s history if it is written well, but the main story should be the Winchesters.”

                I don’t mind Castiel getting some episodes but I mind the showrunner only talking about a supporting regular after half a season of shafting the co-leads. It speaks to a trend which I believe could hurt the show. The SPN fandom is known for being vocal and some people love to use our controversial reputation to dismiss any constructive criticism as “hate” or “whining” but the simple fact is you and I are FAAAAR from the only ones noticing that something’s not quite right with this season.

                “The network has a 2 year contract with the actors, the actors would like to “milk this pig as long as possible,” according to Jared, as long as there are good stories to be told according to Jensen.”

                Yeah, Jared practically told us he’s semi-retiring from acting after SPN and Jensen’s focus is always “a good story”. I don’t know what to make of his asking Robblie Thompson to come back on Twitter or the Js asking Kripke to take care of the ending of the show. One’s thing for sure, they need writers and showrunners who care about their characters and I hope they speak up if they’re unhappy about anything. I will never forget the way Jared took charge of things after season 9 to reassure the fans that the writing for Sam was going to be different in season 10. He acknowledged that mistakes had been made and said how grateful he was that the show had such forgiving fans. I appreciated it so much, especially coming from him because Jared is generally less overtly critical of the show than Jensen (see Jensen’s criticism about season 6 and Sera Gamble’s writing or his choice words for the writing of Sam and the brother’s relationship in season 9) and Jared has always been more willing in my humble opinion to play the PR game and try to make any story written for Sam work while remaining gracious no matter how he felt about it.

                “Both have made family time sacrifices and continue to do so within reason. Suspending shooting is expensive so why not balance out the lite episodes one character at a time rather than lessening the quality?”

                Once again, EXACTLY! lol

                “The cynical part of me thinks that the financial commitment to the show from the network increases each year and if the network can move it to an earlier slot, get a younger crowd, dumb down the writing, then the actors will see the quality go down and not want to continue after the contracts run out.”

                Maybe, I don’t know for sure. I thought moving SPN to 8pm was all about giving Riverdale the best chance at a strong debut. I never thought it could be about dumbing down the show but based on the current writing, it’s a possibility one has to consider.

                ” Just saying that the quality in scripts, not the acting, has been noticeable.”

                Couldn’t agree more. The Js are still on screen, but not given much to work with. I can see Jensen in particular getting restless in the long run. He always stresses that he’s here for the long haul, IF the quality is there.

                “Dabb has written wonderfully in the past, so now why is his direction so blah?”

                I think he’s a very uneven writer who can write very good scripts and terrible ones too so… I think his direction is blah because he’s not focused on the Winchester, plain and simple.

                “He has Robert Singer at his side. Who drives the ship but network executives-notice the jabs at Hollywood types. Just saying. I will continue to watch though I fear we have about a year and a half left on those contracts.”

                I used to fear the end but if this is the show we’re stuck with, I won’t dissolve in a puddle of tears anymore when the boys decide to walk. I watch Supernatural for Sam and Dean. This season is not written with fans like me in mind. I’ve walked out on this show before. If they kill the Winchesters, metaphorically as heart and soul of the series, I can do it again. I don’t want to because they’re one of a kind but I never signed up for the ‘Lucifer and side-characters + side of Winchesters to fulfill J2’s contracts as leads even though they’re not doing anything’ show.

                Here’s to hoping the writing improves for 12B! 🙂

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                1. I think you and I are on the same wave length. Hope 2017 goes well for you and the focus turns to the Winchesters smack dab (no pun intended) in the middle of Supernatural.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. “I think you and I are on the same wave length.”

                    I think so too, and it’s nice to be able to converse about our concerns about the show with no one being labelled as bitter or being told to turn off the channel lol.

                    “Hope 2017 goes well for you and the focus turns to the Winchesters smack dab (no pun intended) in the middle of Supernatural.”

                    Love the pun and especially the kind wish for 2017. SPN is still my first love and I hope it comes back stronger in 2017 for all the fans who miss it.

                    Merry Christmas if you celebrate, Debbab, and Happy Holidays!!! 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. A lot of good stuff but a lot of questions that should have been answered by now.

    I would love a scene where Cas explains what he can and cannot do. It seems like a crap shoot at times.

    They didnt make it obvious that we should/shouldn’t be worrying about Lucifers whereabouts. At first I ws all uhoh he esaped but then Sam and Dean were so emphatic that he hadn’t that I thought I was wrong. Now I don’t now what to think.

    Poor Cas putting his trust in someone and being duped AGAIN. BTW how did she know Cas’s phone number when she called to tell him she escaped?

    I too am hoping Dabbs taking a slow start and then building to a faster pace, more action packed, second half. Hes only had 8 episodes to tie up last year and put in place this years storylines. I give him a pass …for now.

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    1. Patience is a virtue. What worries me a bit is that the talk of a cross over with Arrow just takes a show based in reality(yes, I know it is fiction) and plunges into the comic book. Our heroes are not comic book and that is why we love them so. The earlier time slot also has me concerned that in a bid for younger viewership, the show loses its edge. We must be strong and AKF for Supernatural.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree. No crossover required. Usually done to grab ratings and viewers of a younger age. Not my Supernatural worldview. It just makes no sense. Hope the CW executives figure it out.

          Liked by 1 person

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